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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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NYGiant
Polo Grounds NY USA
Posts: 182
Joined: 2021
Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation.
9/22/2022 7:14:54 AM
On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million enslaved in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, shortly after Lincoln’s inauguration as America’s 16th president, he maintained that the war was about restoring the Union and not about slavery. He avoided issuing an anti-slavery proclamation immediately, despite the urgings of abolitionists and radical Republicans, as well as his personal belief that slavery was morally repugnant. Instead, Lincoln chose to move cautiously until he could gain wide support from the public for such a measure.

In July 1862, Lincoln informed his cabinet that he would issue an emancipation proclamation but that it would exempt the so-called border states, which had slaveholders but remained loyal to the Union. His cabinet persuaded him not to make the announcement until after a Union victory. Lincoln’s opportunity came following the Union win at the Battle of Antietamin September 1862. On September 22, the president announced that enslaved people in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be free.

On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation also called for the recruitment and establishment of Black military units among the Union forces. An estimated 180,000 African Americans went on to serve in the army, while another 18,000 served in the navy.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, backing the Confederacy was seen as favoring slavery. It became impossible for anti-slavery nations such as Great Britain and France, who had been friendly to the Confederacy, to get involved on behalf of the South. The proclamation also unified and strengthened Lincoln’s party, the Republicans, helping them stay in power for the next two decades.

The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ensure its permanence. With the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery was eliminated throughout America (although Black people would face another century of struggle before they began to gain equal rights in the U.S.A. a century after the passage of the 13th Amendment).

Lincoln’s handwritten draft of the final Emancipation Proclamation was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Today, the original official version of the document is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
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This is a brilliant political document that took Great Britain and France off that table as far as interfering in the Civil War.


George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 12332
Joined: 2009
Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation.
9/22/2022 9:54:46 AM
Quote:
This is a brilliant political document that took Great Britain and France off that table as far as interfering in the Civil War.


Interesting viewpoint NYGiant. By interference, do you mean military action in support of the Confederacy?

Did the declaration stop the tacit support for the construction of vessels in Britain for shell buyers representing the Confederacy?

As well, it did not prevent Confederate soldiers/agents operating in Canada from organizing and carrying out operations against the Union. The St. Albans Raid took place in 1864, well after the EP. A posse out of St. Albans actually entered British territory and captured some of the Confederates. They were prevented from taking them back to the US by British soldiers and Britain was not pleased at this violation of sovereignty.

We know that tensions between the US and Britain were quite high throughout the war. The British had increased their military presence in Canada.

It was persistent and consistent diplomacy on the part of US and British diplomats that prevented US troops from crossing the border and indeed, prevented British and Canadian militia from initiating an attack on the US after the Trent Affair. Finally, I would give credit to Lincoln for his "one war at a time" policy which stymied the annexation goals of some US politicians and the desire for retribution by senior Union army officers who wished to eliminate the threat posed by Confederate agents in Canada.

Perhaps you would explain what type of interference by Britain and France the EP was supposed to have prevented. As well, did Lincoln make the proclamation with the thought that a consequence would be the elimination of Britain and France as threats.

Cheers,

George

NYGiant
Polo Grounds NY USA
Posts: 182
Joined: 2021
Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation.
9/22/2022 11:15:07 AM
George, a couple of points.

1. The EP removed any interference by GB or France in the American Civil War....be it diplomatic, military or breaking the US Naval blockade. Plus, I might be able to bring in a violation of the Monroe Doctrine.

2. Ambassador Adams fired off a note on September 5th declaring that “It would be superfluous in me to point out to your Lordship that this is war.” This was in regards to the building of the Laird Rams.
Lord Russell realized GB had gone too far. The British government confiscated both rams and put under the guard of the HMS Majestic.

3. The St Albans Raid turned Canadians against the Confederacy since they felt they were being dragged into the war against their will. The Confederate agents in Canada realized that and so no further raids were made.

4. Canada did not have the troops nor functional artillery to contemplate an attack against the US.

5. The Confederacy had hopes the mighty Royal Navy would destroy the US Naval blockade. By aligning fighting for the Confederacy with the perpetuation of slavery effectively eliminated that threat.

6. $15 million dollars was paid by GB to the US for the damage that British built raiders caused to American merchant shipping.

7. Bottom line...no interference from GB in our Civil War.


respectfully submitted, NY Giant

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